Expired Listings Chapter 05

Following Up

Once you’ve mailed or dropped off the package, the next step IS a call. Only guess what?

They will be calling you.

For the ones who don’t, give them time to get your package, and then give them a ring. Remember, you’re not cold calling. You’ve sent them a package, so give them a follow-up call to make sure they got it.

Keep it low pressure. Just let them know you sent them an important package, and you wanted to be sure they had a chance to look it over. You’ll often find expired owners who’ve had a chance to look at your testimonial package are already sold.

For example, Barry Zeidel (one of the agents in our brokerage) recently went out to meet an expired listing owner. He’d mailed her an “Expired Rocket” package, and made a follow-up call. She had gotten the package, and at first glance was impressed enough to make an appointment. By the time Barry met her in person, she’d read through the testimonials.  Before he could even start, she said: “I want you to sell my home, where do we begin?

That’s the power of testimonials, and creating a point of difference.

There was no competition. He didn’t have to haggle or fuss about price. She was ready to list. You can have the same results with expired listings in your market.

You just need to find the way to be different.

The Secret to Winning MORE Expired Listings! Now, back to the concept of listing price, touched on earlier…

Here’s a little secret about expired listings:

You can fight over price up front and lose a listing, OR you can take the listing, show the owners what you are doing to get their home sold, and then discuss a price reduction.

This is a critical aspect of winning expired listings.

Remember, they are very likely sick and tired of being told their home was overpriced.  They probably heard it from the last agent, who failed to sell. They’ve likely heard it from other agents hoping to get them to re-list at a lower price.

What happens when YOU ask if they’re sick of all that? Suddenly the owners are all ears! But it’s important to give reasons why the home didn’t sell, and more important to share what you can do to get it sold.

Here’s an example of the “list it first, price it later” approach in action:

Listing expired at $249,900. The owners conceded they may have been asking too much, and relisted for $239,900. The prior agent worked a full time job elsewhere, and had given them no attention. We worked with the sellers to make the home more attractive and easier to show. After seeing our marketing efforts, and hearing feedback from several buyers, the owners reduced further to $229,900. The home ultimately sold for $225,000.

There’s no way they would have agreed to a drop of $25k up front! Had price been the focus of our first meeting, the chance would have been lost. Once we had proven ourselves, they were much more willing to be flexible.

Sometimes bad or sloppy marketing is the reason a listing expired. Take this story of the home with a million-dollar view:

Late one afternoon, I met the owner of an expired listing. She took me on a tour of the home, as we talked about the previous attempt at selling. Rounding the corner into a large sunroom, I couldn’t believe my eyes! The view out the back was incredible. In a very flat part of the county, this home had a beautiful rolling green hill spreading out to meet a distant tree line. The setting sun splashed brilliant colors on the tree tops.  I knew I’d stumbled on the million-dollar view that would sell this home. It only took a moment to start snapping pictures.

Turns out the previous agent hadn’t even posted a single picture of the view. Everything was focused on the house itself. He’d missed the most unique point of this home, and it was priced higher than others in the area. Our marketing featured the view and surrounding property in addition to the house. Caught the eye of a buyer who had dismissed the listing as overpriced originally. Talked over the phone, and worked out a deal. Hadn’t even set foot in the house, but he was already sold.

Here are the other ways to convince owners to list with you, without mentioning the price.

#1 Improve the showing condition of the home.

A staged home will sell for 10-15% more than a home that isn’t staged. Even without a full staging, a home in good showing condition will sell for more than it would have otherwise.

#2 Improve the marketing.

Take better pictures and write better descriptions. Professional photography makes a big difference. Even if all you do is bring in a fancy camera, the perception owners have is far better than using your phone, no matter how good it may be. Do a full marketing analysis to uncover opportunities other agents missed. Find the unique feature you can highlight to attract pre-interested buyers.

#3 Solve problems holding back a sale

Be a problem solver. Got a listing that has limited hours you can do showings?  Schedule a big open house, and bring a flood of buyers through at once. Coming up with creative solutions to troublesome issues will give you an edge over other agents.

#4 Communicate with the sellers every step of the way

Show the owners you are thinking out of the box. Explain to them what you’re doing differently. Be open and honest. Let them see you working for them.

After you’ve won the listing, work through these steps.

Once you have, you’ll be in a much better position to start asking for a price reduction.  If and when you do, be patient. Don’t ever make the owners feel stupid, or push them into a corner where price becomes a fight.

You want to let them know you’re doing everything you can, and then ask them to be flexible. If they really do want to sell, and you’ve done a good job of demonstrating your unique “extra-mile” approach to listing, the price reductions will come smoothly.

With these tactics, you will not only be able to win expired listings, you will be selling expired listings.

You’ll soon find yourself saying the same thing we do: “I LOVE expired listings, even when they are overpriced!